My mom always told me I should really think twice before going to the hospital, as there’s a good chance I will leave sicker than when I arrived. It turns out it’s not just an old wives tale, and that there are actual risks involved with hospital visits and routine procedures. Here’s one Israeli MedTech company, ART MEDICAL, that’s doing something about this.
According to ART MEDICAL, a very common type of hospital acquired illness is pneumonia. Patients who are intubated sometimes have excess saliva and acid reflux that cause specific types of respiratory infections and illnesses. Currently, the only way to avoid these types of conditions is for personnel in Intensive Care Units to constantly physically monitor the status of the patient as most of these infections occur in ICUs. This cumbersome process results in a high error rate, due to the busy nature of the ICU and the inability to detect abnormal reactions as they begin to develop. These aren’t just inconveniences, rather situations that actually cause fatalities in the ICU.
Meet ART MEDICAL and its smart enteral feeding system. This company’s wide array of sensors and smart devices can give a warning as to what needs to be done in order to avoid fatal situations and sometimes automate them altogether. ART MEDICAL claims that this platform will save lives, as fewer people will be afflicted by hospital acquired pneumonia.
Smart devices are no new feature in medicine, with everything from fitness trackers to smart surgery robots being used today. Even still, ART MEDICAL claims they are the first to integrate this type of unique technology into the enteral feeding industry. Another interesting feature of the product is the event log, acting as a live interactive chart documenting all the feeding events a patient had and how long they were fed for, which could be a useful method to reduce bureaucracy and systematically track treatment. The system displays an interactive graphical representation of the feeding itself, making sure to give medical professionals as much information as possible in real time.
ART MEDICAL secured $20M in funding to further develop their allegedly life-saving technology, the funding round was led by Advanced Medical Technologies LLC, and is the second round received by the company, with the previous round being a $7M investment.
“One of the challenges for the ICU staff is patients’ prolonged length of stay and mortality from complications which are unrelated to the original reason for hospitalization,” says founder and CEO, Liron Elia. “Aspiration of foreign materials is a major risk for intubated patients and technology is what is needed to solve this problem. We are confident that ART MEDICAL has the solution.”
The jury is still out whether smart technology and automated services can truly replace real doctors and nurses in any capacity. Let’s not forget that, if something goes wrong, solely relying on a solution such as this can endanger more lives than it saves. However, ART MEDICAL’s technology is a helpful tool to supplement current manual procedures in hospitals.